Acting President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday expressed condolence to the late Stephen Keshi’s family, friends and Nigerians.
In a statement signed personally, Osinbajo said the news of Keshi’s sudden death had saddened the nation.
He said: “His personal triumphs and pursuits as a world-class professional footballer inspired many young talented sportsmen and women around Africa to strive for excellence.
“His great work with our youth and senior national teams unified our country and brought joy to many compatriots. His feats within and outside the country, are a rich legacy, which will continue to live on in our hearts.
“On behalf of the people and Government of Nigeria, I commiserate with the family of Mr. Stephen Keshi on this tragic loss. Our thoughts are with his children at this time of sadness especially so soon after the loss of their mother.
“We send our deepest condolences to them and also to the countless friends he made in a lifetime of service.
We pray that God grants the family the fortitude to bear the loss.”
Former President Goodluck onathan described the late football star and coach, as an inspirational figure, great patriot and worthy ambassador for Nigeria.
Jonathan’s tribute, issued by his Media Adviser, Ikechukwu Eze, said: “Keshi was driven by a high sense of patriotism and dedication which motivated him to always ply his craft from the front, leading his nation to win the prestigious continental football trophy at pivotal moments, both as captain and coach.
“I still keep a personal recollection of the time I received the 2013 Nation’s Cup from victorious Keshi and his team as President, on behalf of all Nigerians. It was a moment of pride and strength for our country.
“Keshi was, in deed, a trail blazer who brought glory and honour to his country and continent, nurtured the beautiful game of football to its full potentials in Nigeria, and mentored many professionals to become national and international idols.”